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Guide to International University Admission

Guide to International University Admission

This guide responds to the growing desire among high school counselors to broaden undergraduate college options for US students, specifically students interested in studying internationally.

Included are profiles and admission how-tos on the following countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, and the UK. Want information on another country? Email international@nacacnet.org with requests to be considered in future editions.

You can read the Guide online or download

New edition coming September 2017 will feature two new countries: Finland and Spain.

Key considerations:

  • Other countries are eager to enroll American students. Almost all countries featured have an ambitious, national strategy to recruit international students.
  • Students who have the potential to thrive overseas are independent, open-minded, love to travel, enjoy experiential learning, appreciate diversity, and are interested in other cultures. If you are working with a student who demonstrates some of these characteristics, mention the idea of a full degree program abroad.
  • Why do students choose to pursue a degree abroad? Some want to take advantage of dual citizenship, or have family abroad, while other long for an adventure or to differentiate themselves. Lower tuition may attract their interest—helped along, in some cases, by a full degree program that can be completed in three years.

Country profiles are organized into the following sections:

  • Brief Background – Provides an overview of the postsecondary educational landscape, including numbers and types of universities/colleges, subgroupings of educational institutions, and statistics on the number of international students studying in the country.
  • Good to Know – Describes the length of a typical undergraduate degree program, country-specific terminology, special strengths of the educational system, and legal protections provided to international students.
  • Academic Calendar – Lists the start and end dates of the school year, exam periods, and school holidays.
  • Search – Provides links to specific websites to learn more about university options and courses of study.
  • Apply – Addresses whether students must apply directly to a major/course of study, whether applications are processed by a central organization or by each individual university, and whether there are restrictions on the number or type of applications a student may submit.
  • Deadlines – Lists application timelines by semester of matriculation.
  • Application Fees – Provides costs to apply to one or more universities.
  • Admission Requirements – Describes admission factors such as language proficiency, specific coursework, and SAT, SAT Subject, ACT, and IB and AP testing. Also describes advanced credit provided for AP or IB coursework, if applicable.
  • Upon Acceptance – Reviews the documentation provided at acceptance, whether conditional acceptances are common, if rolling admissions is utilized and, in some cases, timing for student responses and deposits.
  • Tuition and Fees – Provides general cost ranges, information on tuition regulation at the state or national level, and financial aid options, including utilization of US federal student loans.
  • Housing – Explains typical housing arrangements for international students, including the availability and costs of university-provided housing, methods for securing off-campus housing, and general timelines and caveats.
  • Visa and Other Permits – Provides tips and resources related to obtaining student visas and other permits, including demonstration of proof of sufficient funding and required health insurance. Work eligibility is also discussed.
  • Advice from the Field – Offers insights and recommendations by NACAC members with ample experience counseling American students about international postsecondary study. Tips include additional website resources, who to contact for more information, how to identify universities to consider in a given country, and country-specific ranking sources.

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Related Resources

Trusted Sources

An overview of the many advisors who can help you through the college admission process

Counselor Toolkit

A resource for counselors who advise international students attending US high schools as well as secondary schools which are considering enrolling such students

International Student Recruitment Agencies

Learn about concrete steps schools colleges, and universities can take to engage with agencies responsibly.